Burton Cummings sips his “medicine” and shows Vancouver that he’s got his own way to rock


By Steve Newton

Evidently trying to shed his slick, Las Vegas-style approach to performing to get back to the more personal club and small-venues scene, Burton Cummings played two shows at the Commodore Ballroom last week, Wednesday and Friday night.

Kicking off with his best-known honky-tonk tunes, “My Own Way to Rock” and “Your Backyard”, Cummings slowed things down with his third selection–“one for the ladies”–entitled “Timeless Love”.

Choppy grand piano set the pace for “Fine State of Affairs” from his Woman Love album, then he turned back the clock with an old Guess Who number from 1970, “Bus Rider”.

Tracks from an upcoming release, Algebra of Song, were also previewed during the set.

Cummings appeared quite sure of himself and in control throughout, as befits a showman who’s been around as long as he. Before indulging in a long swallow from an ever-present cup, he admitted that “Uncle Burton is getting older, and the older he gets, the more medicine he needs.”

It’s sure good to see the veteran singer still churning out rock and roll. I just hope to hell his “medicine” holds out.


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